Following yesterday’s vote by TDs to pass a Labour motion to put the National Broadband Network into public ownership, Minister of State in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Seán Canney stated:
“These TDs have continuously criticised my efforts to get broadband to areas where there is none.
“I have also heard calls from these same TDs for broadband to be provided in rural areas as quickly as possible.
“If we follow the logic of their voting in the Dáil yesterday, it would mean that the National Broadband Plan would be delayed for another five years.
“I do not believe that communities like Ballinakill, Barnaderg, Caherlistrane, Headford, Claran, Belclare and so many others, can wait.
“The National Broadband Plan will deliver fibre to the home to the 1.1 million people who do not have it, along with 56,000 farms, 44,000 businesses and 674 schools that do not have access to high speed broadband.
“The private sector has failed to provide for these people and the State has to step in .
“The National Broadband Plan, will ensure that those living and working in the intervention area will be able to avail of the many and varied benefits high speed broadband will bring.
“It will enable the creation of new enterprises and allow businesses to expand.
“New remote working opportunities will increase the talent pool available to employers.
“High speed connectivity will create new opportunities for education, smart farming, tourism and health.
“It will also be critical in promoting more balanced regional development and achieving the goals of the Climate Action Plan.
“High speed connectivity for all is a goal we share.
“To delay the National Broadband Plan or steer it off course would only serve to hamper our efforts to achieve this objective. It would disadvantage those living and working in the predominantly rural areas covered by the State Intervention area.
“We have spent the time necessary to consider the strategy and develop the plan. Now it is time to move forward to the delivery phase. It is time to tell the 1.1 million people living and working in the intervention area that we will not accept a digitally-divided Ireland.
“We should proceed to the deployment phase without delay to bring much-needed connectivity to rural Ireland. The time for talking is over. It is time to implement on behalf of the people.”
For more information, contact Minister Canney on 086-2513639
October 25 2019
The motion on the National Broadband Network does not have any legislative effect and the Government is not obliged to abide by it.